This seems to be the question on everyone’s mind lately…one we find ourselves striving to adequately answer in a way that honestly captures our reasons for moving to the LCMS. Anyway, I don’t think I have found a better, more succinct answer anywhere than these words by Dr. Gene Edward Veith:
Imagine a church that is both evangelical — proclaiming the free forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ — and sacramental, centering its spiritual life in the regenerating waters of baptism and the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion. Imagine further a church that is strongly grounded on Scripture, but yet avoids the solipsism of individual interpretation in favor of a comprehensive, intellectually rigorous and imminently orthodox theological system. Imagine a worship service that features both strong preaching and the historic liturgy. Imagine that this is a historical church with a rich spiritual tradition, but without legalism, Imagine, in short, a church that has some of the best parts of Protestantism and the best parts of Catholicism. Finally, imagine that this church body is not some little made — up sect, but one of the largest bodies of Christians in the world.
Such a church might seem like what many Christians, disaffected by both the vacuity of liberal theology and the shallowness of American evangelicalism — are dreaming of. Such a church exists. It goes by the admittedly inadequate name “Lutheran.”